Tesla Ditches NVIDIA, Launches Own Autonomous Driving Chip
Ron Perillo / 7 months ago
Next-Gen Chip is Company’s First
“At first it seems improbable — how could it be that Tesla, who has never designed a chip before — would design the best chip in the world?” opens Musk.
“But that is objectively what has occurred. Not best by a small margin, best by a huge margin. It’s in the cars right now.”
He is of course, referring to their new in-house designed chip, ditching NVIDIA’s Drive platform entirely. This custom chip has been inside the Model S and Model X a month ago, and is inside the Model 3 as of 10 days ago according to Musk.
With this chip, Tesla claims their self driving computer delivers 144 TOPS of processing compared to NVIDIA Drive Xavier’s 21 TOPS.
What Does NVIDIA Think of This Claim?
An NVIDIA spokesman was quick to call shenanigans on Musk’s claims. Stating that a more accurate comparison would be against NVIDIA’s Drive AGX Pegasus. Since Tesla was comparing the entire computer performance with their single chip, and that their AGX Pegasus is much more powerful.
If that is the case, it easily outnumbers Tesla’s by quite a bit, delivering 320 TOPS for AI perception, localization and path planning.
More Bold Claims from Elon Musk
It seems that Musk does not care whether this is accurate or not. In fact, he has more bold claims to say at the event. Including the fact that their next-gen chip is already on the way. According to Musk, the design of this new chip was actually completed “maybe one and half, two years ago.“
Furthermore, he claims that Tesla vehicles will be fully autonomous by next year.
“All cars being produced all have the hardware necessary — computer and otherwise — for full self-driving,” Musk said. “All you need to do is improve the software.”
Keep in mind that for a car to be considered fully autonomous, it must comply with SAE level 4 or higher. Tesla’s vehicles right now are level 2.